• Member Since 14th Feb, 2012
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horizon


Not a changeling.

T
Source

Long ago, at the top of the world, Love ruled a magnificent frozen empire. Then the sun rose, and darkness fell.

* Now with an audio reading by Illya Leonov! *

* * *

Featured by Seattle's Angels:
"Horizon, taking almost wholesale the structure of T. S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, has done something really incredible here. He’s managed to not only write some beautiful poetry about Sombra, Celestia, and the dichotomy of ice and fire, but tell a coherent story of longing and loss." – alexmagnet
"Melt is perhaps, by what I’ve seen, the best [poetry] this fandom has to offer." – RazgrizS57

"Highly Recommended" by Present Perfect

"This is one of the finest examples of literature produced by the fandom, a beautiful homage to T.S. Eliot."Illya Leonov

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 41 )

Thanks as always to my nemesis Benman (for helping me strengthen the narrative and title); but most especially to darf and Appleloosan Psychiatrist, for their fantastic poetic feedback and metrical analysis.

Further author's notes here — along with the reason why, no matter how many views and upvotes this gets, it's literally impossible for this to featurebox (edit: or, at least, it was at the time of publication).

get this for coincidences; I have a story by the same name (not ragging on you) , both stories are <2000k words, and Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is kind of a pretty relevent poem to me, of which I too once wrote a poem/pardody/paraphrase/thing.

I shall enjoy this. :twilightsmile:

wow, this is a really faithful adaptaion- keeping close to the original work, yet fitting it beautifully to a story of Sombra and the alicorns. What a happy chance to stumble across this little gem

I love Prufrock a lot, and I love poetry a lot.


Hm.


On one hand, I think I'd like to see more verse from you. On the other hand, I wish I could see some that wasn't literally Prufrock line for line with a few words cut out and replaced. I'm not entirely sure about it yet, I'll need to read a few more times. PArt of me really likes this, and the other part of me wonders how much it fits if that makes sense, as the emotion and situations seem different, and at times I think being faithful to the original poem almost seems to weaken your story and structure.

I think I shall read it again.

Weird. Is T.S. Elliot just getting super popular again lately? This is the second Prufrock thing I've seen posted in the last month.

2544261
Glad you enjoyed it! You wouldn't believe the craziness I went through trying to come up with a satisfying title. Never quite could. "Melt" was a compromise trying to strip it down as lean as possible, to get people past the title and into the poem itself. Your story's remarkably different for something with the same name.

2544799
Wow, it is? You have a link to the other one? Pony poetry's pretty rare on the ground.

In my case, it happened to come up as an iconic poem that was just long enough to be a standalone story if I ponified it for FIMFic. I talk in the extended author's notes a little about the metamorphosis it underwent from there.

2544477
Thanks for the insightful comment! I look forward to any further thoughts your rereading may inspire.

It's surprising (and a little flattering) to see the poem criticized as hewing too close to the original — the entire time I was writing it, I was worried that I was taking too many liberties with it! The structure and rhyme scheme are where I was strictest about paying tribute to the source, though I've added or subtracted the odd line and gone all over the map with the meter.

I dunno. It's a tough line to walk.

> Part of me really likes this, and the other part of me wonders how much it fits …

The big parallel is the unreliable narrator talking himself up while his words tell a far different story. The big disconnect is that Sombra's justifying his choices, instead of his paralysis. I think that, where Prufrock is a character study, I made Melt a story, and that's going to change the tone of the entire thing.

Part of me wants to say that's a happy consequence of throwing Prufrock through the tumbler of remix culture. Part of me suspects that in so doing I've missed the point. All of me would love to continue the discussion.

Best,

H

2545866 The Love Song of T. Sparkle

It's not actually a poem. It's a story based upon Prufrock, thematically.

2545872
Oh, cool! And it's 2544477's, I see.

At a glance it looks like it's completely the opposite of Melt — like I grabbed the cocoon, unraveled it, and am playing with the silk while Cyne's over there dancing with the butterfly. I will set aside some time to read it.

Long ago, the ponies were dying at the end of the world. But hope was not yet lost, for Sombra still heard the song of the stars.

...well, it's easy enough to find words that might fit, but I dunno where you'd park Arthurian tragedy in ponies, and Polaris is all about writing your own.

2546073
… But that was long ago, and now there are none who remember it.

A fellow Polaris fan? :pinkiehappy: I hope the poem did it justice.

2544477

To some extent I agree with you too. Being able to work in exact qoutes was something I didn't expect, and pleasing to see how much of the original poem I remembered too. It was skillfully done, there's no questioning that, but I wonder what might have been if horizon had felt more comfortable with adapting and mutating the verse a bit. But, for all that, none of the Prufrock lines were out of place and worked so well that it's pretty commendable. Adapting poetry ain't easy, so credit where its due :ajsmug:

Holy shit, someone knows about Polaris. And also Prufrock.

(It'd be cliché as all hell to say that Prufrock's my favorite poem, so I won't, and besides there are at least a few other poems vying for that top spot. But it's a great poem regardless.)

A couple lines scan a bit oddly, but on the whole? This is pretty damn great.

2546428
This won't be the last poetry I write, and I've got some ideas for original verse (which I've written before in non-pony contexts). We'll see what comes of it.

2552243
Thanks! (Which lines stood out to you? I'll take another look.)

Also oh gods you've done a Bliss Stage crossover. This I've gotta read.

2557510
"Though Harmony's Rainbow," I think, strays too far from the iambs, and I think "A lovesick fool, who found his sordid / Actions unrewarded" has a bit too much of a length difference. It roughly maps to "Streets that follow like a tedious argument / Of insidious intent," yes, but I think the fact that the original's enjambed rather than end-stopped makes it less abrupt?

Past the first stanza the meter loosens up some, and any "violations" thereof don't bother me. I did twig a little on "Surely they'd not risk my Empire's demise?", but I'm not entirely sure what about that line feels awkward to me. It might be the contraction—there are only two others I found, "They wouldn't do what must be done" and "I'm sure it was for me she fought," but the "wouldn't" doesn't bother me and I think the "I'm" is necessary.

So them's my strange and paltry criticisms; ponder them, and then use or ignore them as you see fit.

2574079
Thanks, I appreciate the analysis.

"Though Harmony's rainbow" is horrible, yeah, but with "rainbow" serving as an end-rhyme for two prior lines at once ("rain"/"mane" in the stressed syllable and "bow" calling back to "snow"/"glow"), and the Elements of Harmony being unavoidably dactylic, my options were limited. I honestly don't know what could be done about that. It's a weak line, I agree, but at least I kept it as short as I could.

"A lovesick fool…" I'm not sure I understand the problem. It's already enjambed (it splits between an adjective and its noun), the division is 4 feet to 3 (syllabically, 9:6), and it's in even stricter iamb than the original. Considering that I have some outrageous mismatches later that didn't bother you as much (there are some 7 to 3s), I think there's something else going on here — but the line doesn't bug me, so I don't know what to say.

I think you're right about the contraction in "Surely they'd not…" and I'll gnaw on it a bit.

Best,

H

2544477>>2545866 First, I'll confess I despise the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, possibly more than anything else in the universe. I regard it as the first complete breaching of the defenses of Art, which let in the rest of the modernist barbarian horde to lay to waste within a few years all institutions of poetry, literature, painting, music, and architecture, cast Aesthetics down ("Irrelevant! Outdated! Bourgeois! Sentimental!") and place the usurper Theory on its throne, where its dogmatic fist has now ruled for nearly a hundred years.

I like this all right, which may or may not be a compliment. The directness here is quite different from the maddening indirectness and circuitousness of Prufrock, and so it isn't like Prufrock at all, in the ways that make Prufrock most distinctive (and which I did not like).

But I agree it suffers a little from using too many of the same words. The phrase "Do I dare?" carries so much weight in Prufrock that using it here for a minor story point is distracting. The refrain here merely recounts a story action, rather than referring tangentially to the theme. It would have been better to try to do that rather than try to cleave to the original by writing a refrain about physical movement.

2716959
> modernist barbarian horde … the usurper Theory … dogmatic fist

Oh come on, don't be shy, tell us how you really feel. :coolphoto:

> I like this all right, which may or may not be a compliment.

I don't think it is, but it's excellent analysis. Good kind of ouch, and I appreciate the insight (from you, and the Prufrock fans saying similar). At the same time, I'm glad I wrote something you enjoyed.

I'm not sure there's anything to be done for Missing Prufrock's Point, short of scrapping and starting over (which I won't do — this stands on its own, even if it's misaimed as an homage). However, keep an eye on my blog tomorrow! You'll get a chance to see what kind of poetry I can write when I'm loosened of the shackles of derivative form. :twilightsmile:

Best,

H

2574079
I did redo "Surely they'd not…", by the way.

The idea:

Of turning "J. Alfred" into an action-adventure story appeals to me much more than the original poem, I have to admit. :twilightblush: Quite fun!

Mike

2751056
Thanks! That conversion seems to be a polarizing factor, so I'm glad it worked for you. :twilightsmile:

Being entirely naiive to poetry as a medium and also to the work from which you are using I want to say I enjoyed this for what it was. Thank you for creating it.

3041691
Thank you in return! It's wonderful seeing people give this a chance (and enjoy it). It's a story very near to my heart.

Okay, gonna start out by saying that while I occasionally write it, I don't read a whole lot of poetry, analyze even less of it, and thus may not have an educated opinion regarding this work, that opinion being HOLY HELLFIRE THIS IS INCREDIBLE! That you were able to adapt a direct narrative to Prufrock is mind-blowing, and I beyond love the results. I don't see a whole lot of poetry here, and certainly none that's been this impressive. Thank you SO much for putting this on here, it inspires me to work a bit more on mine.

3284844
Thanks for the compliment! Definitely brought a nice smile to my day. :twilightsmile:

That was quite good, turning poems into stories, that's one thing that make us humans, that's art.
Good interpretation and work.
I really appreciate that kind of work.

3799334
Thanks for the compliment! It means a lot to me to have people reading and enjoying Melt.

I like how skillfully you merged pony and Prufrock (particularly the structure and word use), but I think I'm more of a fan of the original. I think the theme of Prufrock resounds more strongly in comparison to this piece. Or maybe it's just the disconnect between the two themes that throws me off.

3874192
Thanks for reading! This piece was a real labor of love, in terms of effort per word posted (and read), and it warms my heart to see people engaging with it even if there are areas in which it comes up wanting.

Prufrock is indeed a magnificent poem (which removes the sting of an unfavorable comparison) and I agree with what you and other commenters have said about its themes being the strength of the piece. :twilightsheepish:

It seems that Prufrock is a popular poem to ponify! (I've done it myself, too, although I kind of mauled it in the process... :twilightsheepish: )

In any case, I'm always happy to see new takes on Sombra, and the tie-in with Polaris is (pun wholly intended) cool. :twistnerd:

4029939
Ooh, awesome! I'll have to set aside some reading time to appreciate that after tearing through some of the EFNW competition fics this week. Thanks for the pointer! :twilightsmile:

I recently read this and I must say it went completely over my head.
Poetry is just not my thing, ya know?

4117852
Fair enough. I appreciate you giving it a try!

Never read TLSOJAP, but this was interesting and sad. Sombra became a richer character, his fall illustrated by the symphony of your words.

In light of your annoyingly Spikeless "Social Lubricant" and the lack of any stories about the character - indicating a lack of interest - I wasn't necessarily inclined to read anything of yours. But this is still a pretty beautiful piece of work. Makes me wish I had a greater understanding of poetry.

4370319
Thank you! I don't think it's necessary at all to have read Prufrock to appreciate this, since I borrowed the form and struck out on my own both with the story and the main theme; but Prufrock is a great poem and if you appreciated this it might be worth enjoying the original and then comparing and contrasting.

4370995
Spike plays a major supporting role in Hard Reset 2. With Social Lubricant, to me he feels the most genuinely childlike of the main cast, and including him in drunken sex talk would have been outside my comfort zone.

Readers had some strongly differing opinions about that — when a commenter there (was that you?) disapproved of Spike's absence, it drew both comments of agreement and a number of downvotes — so I am conscious that it was an issue for some people. All I can say is that while I made a choice not to include him there, I have nothing against his character. :moustache:

Anyway! As to Melt, thank you for giving it a chance and enjoying it. :twilightsmile:

4372427 Yeah, one of them was probably me. I understand why most folks wouldn't want him within a mile of clopfics, but it's only really annoying when such things involve literally everyone but him. As an avid supporter of the underdog, I prefer flipping off logic and letting him in on the action.

Eakin's Hard Reset is in my bookmarks somewhere. I may or may not get around to your sequel someday. My bookmarks could fill a stadium...

But all that was long ago, and there is nopony left to remember it.

(/blows out candle)

Yeah. It's good stuff. It doesn't replace Fall of the Crystal Empire for headcanon status, but it's a great peice, which I might have to steal from liberally for my own ponegames.

Would you kindly stop being so damned talented? Thanks.

5561278
You're in luck! I also wrote My Harshwhinnial! :trollestia:

Wow, Illya Leonov really did this justice. Poetry is not my thing, but I can really appreciate the quality of the writing.

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